Meet the Coaches

Darren Tighe
Head Men's Basketball Coach

Darren Tighe was named the head men's basketball coach July 1, 2014.

Year t
wo of the Tighe era saw the Warriors etch their names in the Ridgewater record books.  The team set school records for most regular season wins in school history (20) and tied the record for most wins in a season (22) with the 1965 Warrior Basketball team.  The 22 wins was more than the last two seasons combined for the Warrior basketball program.  The 22-8 record was even more impressive as the MCAC was as tough as ever hosting the #2, 3, and 4th ranked teams in the nation.  Six of the eight team's losses came to nationally ranked teams or D1 junior colleges.  With the runner up finish, Tighe guided  the Warriors to the MCAC State Tournament for the first time since 2009.  The Warriors drew the #4 ranked team in the nation Central Lakes and lost in Overtime 77-74.  They rebounded and beat Northland and Mesabi Range to claim the MCAC State Consolation Championship.

In year two, the Ridgewater coaching staff recruited arguably one of the best freshmen classes in school history.  Seven freshmen averaged double digit minutes this season.  Akeem Oglesby (Statesboro, GA) and Jack Turnbull (Adelaide, South Australia) were named to the MCAC All Southern Division Team and the All MCAC team.  Oglesby was also named to the All Region 13 team, was voted Region 13 player of the year, and was also named NJCAA 2nd Team All-American.  He is the 8th person in Ridgewater history to be named to the All-American Team.

The Warriors played an exciting, unselfish type of basketball that really impressed Ridgewater fans.  The Warriors were 2
nd in the nation in 3FGM, 3rd in 3FGA, and 3rd in 3FG%.  They were ranked in the top 20 in assists per game as well as being ranked #1 in team free throw percentage.

In his inaugural season with the Warriors, Tighe helped lead Ridgewater to a 9-18 record.  The warriors jumped out to an impressive 6-3 record, but struggled in conference play (2-12).  He coached All Conference Selection Dylan Schueler (Willmar, MN) as well as six members of the MCAC All Conference Academic Team.   

Tighe came to Ridgewater after a successful stint as an assistant coach at Redwood Valley High School where he helped the Cardinals to a State Tournament appearance in 2013 and a section runner up finish in 2014.  Prior to that, he was the head boys' basketball coach at JWP High School.

From 2007-11, Tighe worked with the men's basketball program at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, MN under Head Coach Rick Jeddeloh.  Tighe worked his way up the coaching ranks from 2nd assistant his first two years, to head assistant in 2010, to Associate Head Men's Basketball Coach in 2011.  During that time, he helped the Vikings reach the conference tournament all four years along with a Conference Championship appearance in 2009.

Tighe's responsibilities at Bethany included serving as the Director of Recruiting Operations, Head of the Tape Exchange Program, Point Guard and Defensive Coach, and he led the individual skill development program.  He also assisted with opponent scouting reports and was the summer assistant camp coordinator.

Tighe helped recruit one of the most talented classes in Bethany Lutheran College Men's Basketball History.  The group's accolades include:  six All Conference Awards, two All Conference Honorable Mention Awards, five UMAC All Defensive Team Awards, and one Conference MVP.  The eight members were in the top 10 in all statistical categories including two 1,000 point scorers.

Tighe graduated from Minnesota State University Mankato with a Bachelors Degree in English Studies. He also received his Master's Degree in Teaching from Minnesota State University Mankato.

Tighe currently lives in Redwood Falls with wife Samantha, 4 year old daughter Adeline, and 1 year old son Eli.

Nate Thooft​
Assistant Basketball Coach

​This will be Nathan Thooft's first season as assistant men's basketball coach at Ridgewater College.  Before joining the coaching staff at Ridgewater Thooft was a member of the Marshall (MN) Tigers basketball staff.  He was head 7th grade boys coach for two years, while also scouting games, helping with varsity practice, and helping with youth camps.

Coach Thooft attended college at North Dakota State University.  While attending NDSU he was a member of the track and cross country teams for two years.  After compete for two years he joined the men's basketball staff as a student assistant.  Thooft's responsibilities in this position included travel planning, helping with individual workouts, coordinating athlete schedules, and organizing practices.  While at North Dakota State Thooft was a part of a team that won over 20 games, participated in the CBI Tournament, and worked with 5 1,000 point scorers.

Thooft graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in Sport and Recreation Leadership and Minor in Business Administration.  Nathan currently lives in Marshall, MN with his wife Hannah.​

Kevin Bronner
Assistant Basketball Coach

​This will be Kevin Bronner's first season as men's basketball assistant coach at Ridgewater College.  

Bronner coached boys basketball for five years in the greater Hastings, MN area.  As a member of the Hastings basketball staff, he coached boys 7th and 9th grades for two years.  Coach Bronner also assisted with youth camps and developed two new programs. He started the WOODHAST WARRIORS (Woodbury and Hastings) boys basketball traveling program, coaching 4th and 5th graders for two years.  He also ran an intensive conditioning program, Basketball Fundamentals Plus, through Hastings Community Education for 4th-6th, 7th-8th and 9th-12th grade levels.  

For a two-year period, Bronner coached the elite 7th, 8th and 11th grade boys for the MN Magic AAU program.

Bronner was a 4 year HS basketball letterman with 1st team All-City honors in Oklahoma City, OK. Winning two HS basketball State Championships with Star Spencer HS during his Junior Year and with Del City HS, his Senior Year. Coach Bronner attended Central State University in 1982 which is located in Edmond, OK.  While attending college at Central State University, coach Bronner was the Men’s basketball starting point guard.  He went on to play NBA summer league with the San Antonio Spurs in 1986. 

Bronner has 20 years of HS/College basketball officiating experience in MN.  

Kevin currently lives in Kandiyohi, MN with his wife Deb and son Christian.

Ridgewater College is an equal opportunity employer and educator.